This Decadent S'mores Tart is one of the yummiest ways to enjoy that chocolate-graham cracker-marshmallow trinity that we all love. The crust in this tart is extra special (more details on that below), the chocolate ganache center is so sinfully good & easy to prepare AND, I went a little fancy and opted for little dollops of toasted meringue goodness instead of your classic marshmallows.
Is this real life?! Is something this delicious and pretty really that easy to make at home?!! yes. Yes. YES!!!!! It is, and I'll break down all the little tips, tricks and details for you in this post.
the 3 components of a decadent s'mores tart:
The Crust: The crust is not your ordinary graham cracker crust. What makes this one so special? The flavor. I did 2 simple little things to elevate a basic graham cracker crust into something so flavorful it just pulls the whole tart together. Those 2 little simple little things: brown the butter and add cinnamon. That's it, so simple but it does SO. MUCH. And you don't just have to reserve these small details for this recipe, you can do this anything you're baking something with a graham cracker crust. Be sure to firmly pack the crust into a lightly greased tart pan so it holds it form and you'll get a piece of crust with every bite!
The Chocolate Ganache Filling: Chocolate Ganache is just a fancy way to eat chocolate, but again, it is so simple. For this particular recipe I heated heavy cream, butter & espresso powder on the stove in a saucepan just until it lightly bubbled and then I poured it over the chocolate chips. Leave the chocolate chips alone for about 2 to 3 minutes to let the hot mixture melt the chips, and then stir it together. Shiny ganache will form in front of your eyes - it's basically magic 😍. Pour the ganache into the tart pan over the crust and it's just the right amount to fill it. At this point you'll want to set the the tart pan in the refrigerator to set. This takes at least a few hours but I highly recommend letting it chill over night.
I used semi sweet chocolate chips but you can use dark or milk chocolate too.
The Meringue Topping: I opted for sweet swirls and dollops of meringue instead of traditional marshmallows. Meringue is one of those things that seem super intimidating but I promise it's easy, delicious and you can do some much with it! I used store bought eggwhites to avoid wasting any yolks or the possibility of getting yolks mixed in with the whites. I had a specific look in mind for this tart, I saw swirls and dollops of toasted meringue but if you don't feel like piping you can just pile the meringue on top on the ganache and create a fluffy, thick layer.
I used a small kitchen torch to toast the meringue to add that s'mores element just a little bit more. You can't have s'mores without some char in my opinion! Plus the toasted appearance of the meringue really brings the whole thing together.
For the Crust:
- 2 and ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 and ½ sticks 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 ounces 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 and ½ cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 2 large egg whites 4 tablespoons if using store bought
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a tart pan with non stick spray, set aside.
- Prepare the crust: crush graham crackers in a food processor or in a plastic bag with a kitchen mallet until they are fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl, add ground cinnamon to the crumbs. Give the crumbs a quick stir to mix in the cinnamon. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on the stove top over low-medium heat. You want to brown the butter so allow the butter to foam and bubble, stirring it every so often, but don't leave it unattended. When the butter stops bubbling and has a nutty aroma stir it consistently until it turns a amber color and immediately take it off the heat. Brown butter can burn quickly so once it turns that beautiful amber shade take it off the heat. Give it another stir and pour it in a small bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Then add the butter to the graham cracker crumbs and mix everything together, crumbs should be thoroughly coated and moist. Pour the crumb/butter mixture into the tart part and firmly pack it together to form a crust, make sure to fill all the ridges on the sides.
- Bake the crust for 7 to 8 minutes in the oven.
- Prepare the chocolate ganache: Add the chocolate chips to a heat safe mixing bowl. Pour the heavy cream, butter and espresso powder to a small sauce pan over low medium heat on the stove, letting it comes to a soft boil, stirring frequently so the cream doesn't burn. Once the heavy cream start to bubble take it off the heat and pour the mixture right over the chocolate chips. Let everything sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Then, stir the ingredients together until the chocolate chips are completely melted and a smooth, shiny ganache forms. Pour the ganache right into the tart pan and smooth out the top if necessary. Place the tart pan in the refrigerator for the filling to firm up and set, for at least 4 to 6 hours but preferably overnight.
- Making the meringue topping: Place the egg whites and cream of tartar in a glass mixing bowl. Using a hand held electric mixer or a stand mixer with a fitted whisk attachment beat the egg whites on medium high speed. Once the egg whites start to have a fluffy texture and are white, slowly add in the sugar, a little at a time, with the mixer still on. Continue beating the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Meringue should be firm enough that it will hold it's shape but is still spreadable and have a super white, shiny appearance. Now you have a few options: you can either spoon the meringue over the entire top of the tart, or you can transfer it into a piping bag with a tip of your choice and pipe various swirls and designs on the tops. It's totally up to you! Use a small kitchen torch to toast the meringue to your preference. Tart can be sliced and served immediately. Store and leftover in the refrigerator.